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Arquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria

Print version ISSN 0004-282XOn-line version ISSN 1678-4227


VINCENT, MAURICE B.. Migraine pathophysiology. Arq. Neuro-Psiquiatr. [online]. 1998, vol.56, n.4, pp.841-851. ISSN 0004-282X.

The pathophysiology of migraine is not yet fully understood. The most important structures involved seem to be the central nervous system (cortex and brain stem), the trigeminovascular system and related cranial arteries, other autonomic fibres innervating such vessels, and various local vasoactive agents, including SP, CGRP, NO, VIP, NPY, ACh, NA, NKA, among others. The spreading depression phenomenon may explain clinical as well experimental findings in migraine. Its propagation velocity mirrors what is found in clinical aura, it may activate the spinal trigeminal nucleus and may induce CGRP and NO release. Circulatory changes detected with various imaging procedures during migraine also support the pathophysiological role of spreading depression. Three abnormal loci (chromosomes 1 and 19) have been recently found in familial hemiplegic migraine. This produces abnormalities in the voltage-dependent P/Q Ca channel, specific for the central nervous system, which regulates the release of various neurotransmitters, probably including serotonin. It is possible that a channelopathy underlies the pathophysiology of migraine, as in other paroxysmal neurological disorders secondary to membrane hyperexcitability.

Keywords : migraine; pathophysiology.

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